I have never known my husband to order anything other than Chicken con Broccoli at Olive Garden--it's his absolute favorite! Over the years, we've attempted to duplicate it at home and have tried "copy cat" after "copy cat" versions of recipes, without any luck. My husband decided last night to improvise a bit and it was by far, the BEST "imitation" recipe...it comes very close to tasting just like Olive Garden's! (Of course we didn't get the unlimited soup, salad and breadsticks!) This would be an excellent dish to serve for company!
Chicken con Broccoli (Olive Garden Copy Cat Recipe)
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (pounded to 1/2 inch thickness) 4 Tablespoons olive oil 16 oz dry orecchiette pasta 1 pint heavy whipping cream 4 Tablespoons butter 2 teaspoons minced garlic 4 teaspoons cornstarch 3 cups broccoli florets Salt and ground black pepper to taste 4 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
*Spice Mixture* 2 teaspoons dried basil 2 teaspoons dried parsley 2 teaspoons dried rosemary 2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash Garlic Herb seasoning 1 teaspoon Red pepper flakes salt and pepper to taste
Combine ingredients from spice mixture. Rub onto the chicken breasts. Cook chicken in the olive oil until browned, set aside and keep warm.
Cook orecchiette pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until "almost" done. Drain, and return pasta to pot.
Stir butter or margarine, and garlic into a sauté pan. Cook until garlic caramelizes, then add the cream and the cornstarch on medium heat until it thickens to a sauce. Add broccoli and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes, before adding pasta. Add additional salt, if necessary.
Remove from heat. Place pasta and broccoli on plate and top with a chicken breast. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
If you were to look up the word "picky" in the dictionary, you would see a picture of my husband off to the left. Growing up, I was exposed to all sorts of different foods and encouraged to experiment with different flavors, but after meeting my husband, I somewhat locked myself into an eight to ten meal rotation and was reluctant to deviate. I have since given birth to two of the least picky eaters on the face of the Earth, thus inspiring me to transform my cooking style. I know many people, like myself, lead such hectic lives, so I strive to find recipes that are quick and easy--especially those that you can whip up with ingredients that you ordinarily have on hand!
A bit about me...I married my husband, Marcus, on June 1, 2003 and we welcomed our son Jacob on March 22, 2005. Our daughter, Madeline, was born on March 1, 2008. I stay home with the kids for the most part, but also work occasional shifts as a registered nurse at a local hospital. I truly hope you enjoy my blog. A special "thank you" to my sister, Sarah, for giving me the idea! Her creativity is hard to live up to, but I'm a very determined person and hope to make her proud :)